MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – All month long, WCCO is on the road highlighting some of our favorite spots across the state. This week, Frank and Chris went straight down Highway 61 to Winona, where the city is celebrating its Winter Carnival this weekend.
Winona is a city right on the Mississippi River and is home to more than 27,000 people. Winona was founded back in 1851 by a steamboat captain who would go up and down the Mississippi River, but the mighty Mississippi isn’t they only water way in town. You’ll find Lake Winona, right off Highway 61. In the winter you’ll see people skating or ice fishing on the lake. There are plenty of fish to go for including bluegill, largemouth bass, northern pike and walleye.
The best thing about these trips is hearing from all the locals and checking out the places they can’t get enough of.
So Friday morning, Chris and Frank had to make a stop at the local bakery.
Frank had a maple bacon Long John and Chris chose a cream-filled doughnut.
Bloedow’s has been in Winona since 1924. They use all original recipes.
It’s always fun to go to cities like Winona and find those things that really make that area unique, and Frank and Chris certainly found something they haven’t seen before.
For the first time ever in Winona, they’ve turned the side of a bluff into an ice climbing park.
Chris and Frank’s adventure began at the bottom of the bluff where they strapped on some snowshoes and started their trek up.
There are four ice climbing parks in the United States and three of them are in Minnesota.
A big thanks to Eric Barnard and Ross Greedy for helping to make the climb possible.
The ice climbing park is open to the public. People stream to the park from all over Minnesota and the Midwest. They even had a couple from Czechoslovakia.
Here’s the best part: The equipment is available to rent if you’d like to try it for yourself.
Winona is surrounded by bluffs, but there is one that sticks out among all the rest.
Sugar Loaf overlooks the city of Winona and was created in the 1800s from quarrying the bluff’s limestone.
You’ll find it above the junction of highways 61 and 43. It towers 500 feet above Lake Winona.
Sugar Loaf is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
There are so many different recreation options both indoor and outdoor in Winona.
Chris and Frank took a little trip to the Briggs Farm, where you can create your own adventure. They wanted to see if they have what it takes to survive in the woods.
Thanks to Steve Briggs and Derek Barkeim. The farm also serves as an AirBnB and is host to many events. Barkeim holds survival classes through Seekers Wild.